So, you may or may not know that this time last year me and the other half, Luke, were in the process of purchasing our first property together. Come tomorrow we have actually owned our little flat an entire year, how crazy is that, so today I wanted to share with you 10 things I wish I knew before we purchased our first property.
As an idea we weren’t planning on buying last year, we were planning to begin the process and think about purchasing this year, but saw a flat we loved almost immediately and just went for it so went into the whole process relatively blind.
1) You won’t find out if you’ve been accepted for a mortgage until after you’ve put in an offer on a property. I couldn’t believe this as I assumed this would have to all be agreed for anyone to take something as big as this seriously.
2) Even if you can easily afford something it doesn’t mean your mortgage provider will agree. Generally speaking, you can borrow 4 x your salary, plus your deposit, so if you’re earning £40,000 between two you can usually borrow £160,000 plus your deposit.
3) If you buy a property above £125,000 you will have to also pay stamp duty, which is 1% of the property value.
4) Solicitors are soooo slow. I’d heard this plenty of times before but I didn’t really realise how slow things really were, put it this way we had no chain our end, the person we purchased from purchased a house and that was the end of the chain, yet it still took us about four months to go from having our offer accepted to completing.
5) One day you will suddenly get told you’re about to exchange with no warning, even though you’ve been chasing and told you just have to wait constantly.
6) How expensive removal men really are, we were previously renting a one bedroom flat literally 5 minutes down the road and were quoted £700, several times!! We decided to shop around and ended up going for a ‘man with a van’, which cost us £40 for a couple of hours and moved the smaller bits ourselves.
7) If you buy a flat how annoying service charges and maintenance charges are. I don’t think I’ll ever get over our six monthly bills, especially when the only thing I’ve seen done since we moved in is some grass gets cut occasionally.
8) Painting takes way longer than you think. We were lucky as we had both flats for two weeks so had one week where our current flat was empty which we used to re-decorate but it literally took an entire week, with the days we were working going straight over after to paint until midnight.
9) Some of you might already realise this but we didn’t realise that water pressure needs to be checked, and ours is absolutely terrible. We’ve been able to improve it slightly but when we purchase our house this will be the first thing I will be checking, and the shower will feel dream-like. P.s. Our bath takes over an hour to run, lol.
10) South facing gardens really do make a difference. It’s not the end of the world but we have a terrace area attached to our flat but by the time we both get home from work in the evenings there’s only ever a tiny slither left behind. I’d love a bit more sun in the garden to enjoy.
Had you thought about these things or experienced them purchasing your first property?